Google Photos will no longer provide free unlimited storage starting 1st June, 2021 and introducing a new cap of 15gb after which users will start getting charged according to their subscription.
This step by the company is being implemented as part of their Google Drive policy changes and will affect other other services like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings and Forms” which will also begin counting against these new storage caps.
Furthermore, Google says data for accounts that have remained inactive for at least two years will be deleted as per their new policy which is not a big concern considering if someone doesn’t access their data for two years, it most likely means that they don’t really need it anymore.
However, the new limit on Google Photos and other services will not affect files already uploaded before 1st June, 2020 so you can take your time to decide your next course of action which is either to buy extra storage space or move to an entirely new cloud service.
It should be noted that Google already counts ‘original quality’ photos and videos against a storage cap while automatically compressing them to save space but they still remain ‘high quality’ and nothing like the compression done on some platforms like Facebook.
However, Pixel users will not be affected by the new limit on Google Photos and will be allowed to store ‘high quality’ pictures even after 1st June 2020 but they still get a downgrade from the current unlimited ‘original quality’ cloud storage.
The company says that it still offers far more storage than its competitors and that’s true if you compare the 15GB being offered by Google Photos to the 5GB you get on Apple’s iCloud service. According to Google, the 15GB storage will be enough for 80 percent of its users.
Google says that it will send alerts and warnings once users begin to reach the storage cap and to make it better, the company has introduced some new storage management tools into Google Photos that makes it easier go through and delete what they don’t require anymore such as old screenshots or blurry pictures.
The reason behind the change might be getting people to sign up for Google One Storage which also comes with a free VPN for Android at higher tiers and the service isn’t too expensive when considering the starting packages.
Google One Pricing
$1.99 / month
$2.99 / month
$9.99 / month
$149.99 / month
According to Google, there is a baffling amount of photos and videos already uploaded to Google Photos and the move to end free ‘unlimited storage’ is to make sure that the service remains sustainable.
The company wrote in a blog post saying:
Today, more than 4 trillion photos are stored in Google Photos, and every week 28 billion new photos and videos are uploaded. Since so many of you rely on Google Photos to store your memories, it’s important that it’s not just a great product, but also continues to meet your needs over the long haul. In order to welcome even more of your memories and build Google Photos for the future, we are changing our unlimited High quality storage policy.
According to Google, this is a way to bring their current policies more in line with industry standards while helping maintain their high standards of service for customers.